Industry News & New Products

Top Tire Chain Tips

by Brittany Bierle | Oct 25, 2018

Helpful Winter Towing Hints


Tire Chains

In many parts of the country, winter season is not far off. Having the most traction possible for snow and ice covered roads is very important for safety.

Unsafe snowy and icy weather conditions can be difficult to drive in. If snow tires alone do not provide enough traction, chains can help. One of the best ways to increase traction is to use tire chains, also called snow chains.

Tire chains should be selected based on the size of the vehicle and the amount of clearance available on the vehicle. The tire chain manufacturers will have information on the correct size of tire chain. The vehicle manufacturer will have information on the clearance, usually in the vehicle owner’s manual.

When first purchased, all tire chains need to be properly fit to your tires for best performance, traction and safety. They need to be as tight as possible by hand and then readjusted after driving a short distance. If needed, rubber or spring chain adjusters can be used.

Helpful Hints:

  • The maximum driving speed with tire chains is 30 mph

  • Fit and practice installation of tire chains before you need to use them

  • It’s much easier to install tire chains for winter safety before losing traction vs. after you’re stuck

  • If installing chains on the side of the road, always wear appropriate high visibility apparel.

  • Do not deflate tires to install tire chains

  • Extra links can be cut off or secured to the side chain

  • Mount so the cut ends of the cross chain hooks are away from the tire

  • Avoid twists and kinks in the side and the cross chains

  • If a cross chain should break, immediately repair or remove

Various states have different statutes regarding tire chains. Most states either allow the use of tire chains outright within certain calendar dates or permit them during hazardous, snowy weather. As long as related incidents do not damage the highway surface.

In some states snow chains or other traction devices are required on mountain passes or in other snowy conditions. It is best to check with your state’s Department of Transportation or towing association. With practice, tire chains can be easy to install, and increase traction tremendously.


Shop Tire Chains from Zip’s AW Direct >>